Florida’s COVID-19 surge shows no sign of slowing

Greater Jacksonville continues to lead state in infection rate

The line to get a COVID-19 tested Friday at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. (Marta Lavandier, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida reported 22,783 new COVID-19 cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, a new record for the most in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

Late Friday, the state released its weekly COVID-19 data report showing a seventh consecutive week with a sharp increase in new infections and positivity rate.

That report shows 134,506 new cases from July 30 through Aug. 5 -- 22% higher than last week and the highest number of cases in a 7-day period since the pandemic began. The number of deaths in the report was up 616 from last week.

That equates to an average of more than 19,000 new cases per day for the last week. The state was reporting fewer than that many cases for entire weeks as recently as the last week of June.

Florida’s report has the state at 2,725,450 total cases and 39,695 deaths connected to COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak.

The state’s positivity rate was 18.9% -- up from 18.4%.

The data for most of Northeast Florida is even more troubling. The per capita infection rate is higher in Jacksonville and nearly every surrounding county than the state average. Columbia County had a case rate of 1,148.9 per 100,000 -- that’s 11 people in every 1,000 people in the county had a positive test in the last seven days.

The report’s good news? Nearly twice as many people got a first of the vaccine as were getting the shot two weeks ago and the number of Floridians to have had at least one shot rose to 62%.

The number of vaccines administered in Jacksonville has more than tripled in three weeks, with 16,233 shots given in Duval County the last seven days.

Florida's latest COVID-19 data on Aug. 6, 2021. (Florida Department of Health)

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